9 Reasons To Link Out

Most believe that by continuously linking in, you’ll decrease bounce rates, increase the average amount of time a visitor spends on your site, and increase traffic. While at the surface this may be true, I believe that linking out is twice as good as linking in and here are my 9 reasons why.

Expanding Knowledge – Linking out provides a means for your audience to expand their wealth of knowledge by picking up websites they may not have known about before. This aids in reading content from multiple perspectives. Also, providing links related to whatever niche you are writing about will show readers that you’re an expert in the field and keep up with the latest and greatest for that particular niche. Consider this perceived expertise.

Networking – Linking out when publishing an article generally initiates what are known as Pingbacks or Trackbacks. These little notifications inform a blog owner that someone has linked to one of their articles. I can tell you based on experience that I’ve personally discovered some great sites by checking out my trackback/pingback notifications and it’s also proven to be a great opportunity to network with other blog owners.

Unselfish Feeling – It’s very easy to continuously link in to other articles you have produced on your site but if you do it too much, your readers might think your selfish and have no desire for any one else’s opinions. Linking out takes care of this before it becomes a problem.

Backlinks – This one is based off of the Networking tip I described earlier. If the blog owner approves of your pingback/trackback url to be published, that is one more backlink you have for your blog. Plus, it lets other blog owners know that your site exists which may mean future backlinks.

The Beginning Of Conversations – For those that like to take bits and pieces of other blog posts and formulate opinions or provide their own insight into, linking out to those articles provides your audience a chance to read into the content that ignited your spark. This can sometimes initiate conversations which go into a totally different direction.

Build An Audience – If you continuously link out to great content that your audience finds useful, they will keep coming back for more and will most likely tell their friends. The key is to link out to great, resourceful material on a consistent basis. People love it when their desired subject matter has been filtered out so that only the most interesting or useful content appears before them.

Way To Generate Content – There are only 24 hours in a day and not enough time in life to write about everything you find interesting that comes across your feedreader. Instead of bookmarking it, create a speedlink post which contains numerous links that are of interest to you AND your readers. The post serves as an archive for those links so you can go back to them whenever you need to.

Backup Your Claims – While it is easy to state nonfactual claims all day long, you’re only doing your readers a disservice (and most likely yourself). Instead, back up your claims by linking out to third party sites who agree with your line of thought or who have produced the research that supports your statements.

The SEO Perspective – I’m no SEO expert, but I’ve seen this one debated across the web. The results of a linking out experiment to determine SEO benefits appear different depending on who did the experiment. As a rule of thumb, who cares if you link to your competitor just as long as it benefits your audience. By the way, there are certain cases in which linking to your competitor is seen as a classy move. Be open to those opportunities.


To sum things up, don’t be afraid to link out, even if you feel the site is a competitor. Linking in general is a natural behaviour on the web and there is no reason why you should keep your audience within a walled garden. Link out, build relationships, get to know people and then realize that linking out is one of the best things about blogging. That next link out could be a blessing in disguise.

strong>If you know of any other reason as to why you should link out, share it in the comments.

13 thoughts on “9 Reasons To Link Out

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  2. Hello Jeff,
    I have never really been afraid to link out. I will say that I had not thought of some of the benefits.

    If Yan at thoushallblog.com had been afraid to link out, I would have not found this post. I see he has used your advise wisely!

    Thank you for the ideas!

  3. You’re right, we never hear any experts talking about linking out because most blogs, for example, want to keep users on their website for an extended period time to either sell some product or service, or snag them on an advertisement. However, the reason that users often read blogs is for information. And by giving readers that information, whether it be on of off the blog, the user experience is enriched, and yes, they are likely to come back…

    The only thing that I’d suggest, for SEO purposes, is that all (or most) outbound links be tagged with nofollow.

  4. I have a lot of experience about this. I give out links to other blogs that related to my posts. My purpose making a post is to give information for readers. Linking out is to give them more information from another source.

  5. Hi Jeff, I am currently taking a blogging class and the coach of that class recommended we all read your post and I understand why. Similar to what Lainie has said, I too write my post first and then do all my linking, bolding, inserting of a picture, etc to make the post more interesting and valid. I sometimes get my ideas from starting with another reliable source (for me, real estate related sources) and then applying that to my area. I am at the beginning stages and usually always have at least one link back to my website which I know is probably self serving; but I am trying to have more links to other places. It keeps the reader on your site longer and maybe even generates them coming back to visit again.

  6. I’ve never worried about linking out – after all, isn’t the purpose of my writing to be informative and helpful? Linking to other resources is just part of that.

    People who refuse to link out because of selfish fear generally don’t have good blogs. They defeat themselves with their self centered greed.

  7. These are all great reasons, and I particularly appreciate your noting that an “unselfish feeling” is a great reason to link out. What I like about blogging is that bloggers have the opportunity to both support, and be supported by, like-minded people.

    I also think that the decision to link in or out should be based on the quality of the blog post: As you note, linking out to a source is often appropriate, and adds to your credibility. Certainly linking in is appropriate if you reference something that you have already written about, but you shouldn’t write with the purpose of linking in: Everyone can tell what you are doing anyway.

    I’d go so far as to suggest that bloggers try writing their posts with NO links at first: Just try writing the best posts they possibly can. THEN add the best, most relevant links when appropriate. Along with appropriate promotion efforts, a high quality blog with links (both in and out) to high quality content, is going to get the attention it deserves.

  8. @Jade – Thanks Jade. You can blame http://performancing.com/1-800-hows-my-blogging#comment-104221 for I guess my increase in quality in terms of posts here at Performancing.

    That might, but generally, unless the blog is configured otherwise or at the very least, the blog commenting system, leaving links in the comments will have the NoFollow attribute attached to them rendering their SEO benefits practically useless.

  9. Thanks for this post – i’ve noticed that the quality of your posts has really improved lately

    I really appreciated it because everybody advocates linking within your own blog. Many bloggers I see rarely link out and instead, direct their audiences to great posts using twitter and other social media services.

    I guess it can be really effective if it actually does impact on SEO. If thats true, one could argue that linking out is more effective because the search engine may reciprocate by sending you a targeted consumer.

    It would be interesting to see if anyone links out within blog comments – would that be an effective way of creating perceived expertise?

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